The notion that you can be exactly who you want to be 100% of the time is a false notion. This would be reaching perfection and the only perfection that exists is imperfection. Digging deep and striving to bring out the better you, however, is possible and necessary for a life with passion and purpose. Authenticity occurs when your actions line up with your values as a person. How can you do this? How can you be more authentic and let your true self shine in your life? How can you match up your actions with who you are underneath?
Make it Known
Make it known to yourself who you are underneath. What is important to you? Make a personal inventory. Write out all the statements that make you who you are. Write out “I am” statements.
“I am someone who cares about others even if I don’t know them.”
“I am someone who is down to earth and can’t stand being arrogant.”
“I am someone who is willing to drop anything for my family.”
These are a few examples. When you know who you are, you will find more purpose in your life. If you don’t know what your purpose is, find it and hold on to it. Once your purpose and identities are known to you, you are aware of who you are and can start identifying actions that take you away from who you are.
Decide to Make Change
Once you are aware of who you are you can strive to be truer to yourself. You can start to take action and work on yourself. Truly deciding to make changes in yourself requires commitment and this is the point where most people fail. Deciding is not just declaring in your mind that you want to be truer to yourself. Deciding is making active commitment to change. Write down things you have done in the past that have caused self-remorse and work on changing them. Write down things you don’t like about yourself. Decide and commit and watch yourself grow.
To be true to yourself is a journey and a rollercoaster ride. You will make mistakes. Those who make mistakes, are confused with themselves, and turn to familiar behaviors will fail in their attempt to be true to themselves. Those that fail, fight, and fall back on their pre-conceived plans to move forward will fail less and less. Thus, self-forgiveness is the key to moving on to find higher levels of yourself.
In order to be true to yourself you have to love yourself. Loving yourself makes the whole process that much easier. When you compare yourselves to others what are you actually doing? You are detracting from yourself. When you compare, you are loving them (others) more than yourself and want to follow them because you feel you don’t have the inner strength to follow yourself. Negatively comparing leads to bad action. If you are negatively comparing yourself to someone else you will do something that is out of line with who you really want to be. Something else to think about is that you might like an attribute that someone has but you don’t know who that person is underneath so you should never be quick to compare unless you truly know someone. If you do know someone that has some truly amazing qualities and your inner-self wants to be more like that, you can develop those traits.
Embracing yourself goes hand-in-hand with getting rid of comparisons. Embracing yourself means doing what you love. Be grateful for what you have. Find the power of gratefulness in your life. The only way to be rich instantaneously is by developing gratitude. Everyone has their own gifts to bring into the world. Everyone also has their own insecurities. Embrace your insecurities and be vulnerable with them and you will start to love yourself even more. Follow that little voice inside you. Respect yourself and others will respect you.
Identify Your Patterns of Failure
Most people upon failing things repeatedly will be able to notice a cycle of failure. If you feel that you keep failing and messing up in life, find your cycle and patterns of thinking. This part in the process is similar to what addicts undergo in treatment. Addicts can identify a pattern of thoughts that contribute to their addictive behaviors. Many addicts will have thoughts unintentionally come into their head because of their addiction. Those that stay addicted aren’t aware of what these thoughts are doing when the thoughts turn into intentions. The intentions then turn into actions where an addict relapses and starts the process over again. After the process has started over again an addict might become complacent and let the thoughts turn into intentions and the whole process cycles over. Find your pattern of thinking that led to your behavior.
Change Your Patterns
This is the best part of the whole process because this is where you will find the changes in your life. The reason identifying patterns of failure is second to last is because someone might have done everything they needed to do but then then fail after so much hard work and don’t know where to go after their failure. Once you have identified your pattern, you understand the process of yourself and you can see where you messed up to improve for the next time. You have a place to go after failure when you have identified your patterns. Changing your patterns comes down to a battle of will. Are you willing to do things differently? Are you willing to do things the hard way? If you are, you will succeed.
Reap the Rewards
To let your true self shine, love what you have done. Embrace yourself even more. Nothing can stop you. You are who you want to be. You have purpose. You have self-respect and others will respect you for that. You will inspire others and keep your actions in line with who you are because you have made the sacrifices to be a better you. You hold yourself to a higher standard and will continue to reap rewards from it.
Tyler Dahl is a freelance writer who dedicates his time to finding solutions for people who feel they can’t go anymore. He specializes in writing about self-motivation and chronic pain. If you would like to contact him you can do so on his LinkedIn.